Josh Bruno has now attended five funerals for friends who have died of drug overdoses.
Even with a background in healthcare, Bruno said, he struggled to figure out how to help. The deaths prompted him to spend six months learning about addiction treatment, volunteering at rehabilitation centers, and attending Alcoholics Anonymous and other support-group meetings.
What he found was a disconnect between the treatment paths out there and the patients who needed them.
To help, Bruno has been building a company over the past year. The startup, called Path, aims to work with employers to connect their workers to addiction-treatment services. Path is set to start working with companies in 2020, connecting patients with their existing benefits, such as doctors and counselors who specialize in treating addiction. It’s similar to startups that have sprung up to help people navigate fertility benefits.
So far, the company has raised $5.35 million from investors including Upfront Ventures, Meridian Street Capital, and Sequoia Consulting Group’s venture fund as well as from former heads of benefits at Disney, Chevron, US Foods, and Cisco.
Bruno previously founded Hometeam, a startup that provides in-home care for seniors. Before that, he was an investor at Bain Capital Ventures.
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Bruno has been keen to work with employers who have said publicly that they’re looking to tackle addiction. From there, the team will set an initial meeting. To start, Path will be working with a handful of employers throughout 2020, Bruno said.
“We use this in first meetings to really gauge to see if it’s a priority for an employer,” Bruno said.
Here’s the pitch deck Bruno uses in that initial conversation to help convince more employers to rethink how they support their workers.